Epilepsy Foundation Aims to Create a Map for the Brain to Better Track Seizure Activity

Monday, April 15, 2019

My Brain Map Initiative to Fund Multi-Scale Approaches to Brain Mapping

LANDOVER, Md. — The Epilepsy Foundation today announced it is accepting proposals that seek to test novel, unconventional ideas for creating individualized brain networking maps for epilepsy. Proposals that test ideas for overcoming major methodological or technical challenges in network modeling for epilepsy are also encouraged. This initiative, known as My Brain Map, is part of the Foundation's Epilepsy Innovation Institute (Ei2), which is planning to fund innovative, multi-scale approaches to brain mapping. The Foundation hopes to create a user-friendly data visualization tool for seizure propagation personalized to the individual's brain network.

"We want to create a Brain Map for your brain that highlights your unique brain traffic pattern to better understand how a seizure begins and how it spreads throughout the brain in particular moments in time," said Sonya Dumanis, Ph.D., senior director of innovation, Epilepsy Foundation. "We believe this will lay the groundwork for identifying key brain regions unique to the individual that can lead to improved diagnosis, care, and seizure control."

In the fall of 2018, Ei2 hosted an innovation workshop to assess the current science behind personalized brain network mapping in epilepsy. The workshop convened multiple stakeholders, including people impacted by epilepsy, neuroscientists, scientists, clinicians, mathematicians, engineers, and industry representatives. Conversations centered on what is currently possible, what are potential future directions, and what critical infrastructure is needed to move the field forward.

Given the limited data that exists about how best to model brain networks, the goal of this initiative is to support exploratory pilot projects that tackle complex system network approaches to visualize activity across different modalities, time and spatial scales. These proof-of-concept studies will help gain insights into the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms that lead to seizure propagation and in turn aid our efforts to END EPILEPSY®.

Successful applicants will be awarded up to a one-year grant in the amount of $200,000 as seed funding to generate preliminary data that could then be used to secure further funding from other sources. If the proof-of-concept exploratory project is funded and is extremely successful, there may be opportunities for additional funding from Ei2 to validate the work in the clinic. Priority will be given to investigators who propose employing new technologies and/or new analytical methods on existing data sets.

The Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY through care, advocacy, research, new therapies, and education. Ei2 is a research incubator that uses innovation workshops, research grants, and mentorship to help speed high-risk, high-reward projects (like early-stage therapies) to market.

For more information about My Brain Map or to obtain the Request for Proposal, please visit www.epilepsy.com/MyBrainMap. Letters of Intent will be accepted until June 21, 2019.

About Epilepsy

According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

With a network of nearly 50 partners throughout the United States, the Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding $65 million for epilepsy research and supporting 3,076 epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. Over the past 17 years, in partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 500,000 school and community personnel in how to recognize seizures and administer seizure first aid. The Foundation has also assisted more than 108,000 people through its 24/7 Helpline in the past five years, and continues to focus on innovation, new therapies, community services, advocacy and education as key priorities. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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